Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Thursday Three

I don't know what it is about winter and food. But when it's cold and gross outside, food takes on a whole new meaning. Comfort. And what's more comforting than pasta? But, like the basic black dress, it's all about what you do with it.

Favorite Pasta Sauces

I'm not sure you can do much wrong with pasta, but here are my favorites. I'm not mentioning marinara, my all time fave, because it's a little plain jane for T3. (Even though it's what I eat 95% of the time!)

#1. White clam. I love white clam sauce on linguini or fettucine. I used to have a really fast five minute clam and lemon sauce recipe that I loved, but it never really flew with the kids and got ditched as a result. I should really track it down because it was really easy and really good.

Like the good coastal raised girl I am, I have to mention that anything with clams is twice as good with scallops. In Kansas, however, I'll stick with clams. Canned.

#2. Puttanesca.
How can you not love a sauce named for hookers? Really? This is a very spicy sauce, loaded with capers, olives, red pepper flakes and (don't gag) anchovies. For someone who is as squeamish about meat as I am, I have no rationale for why I love anchovies so much. Oh, well. Predictable is not my middle name.

I almost never make this at home, but I do a down and dirty version without the anchovies. It's still pretty good. If I do say so myself.

#3. Mushroom.
My mother's mushroom sauce. The one that I cannot seem to pull off. I've watched her a zillion times and still can't do it. I'm convinced that she sends me out of the room on a fool's errand and then throws in something bizarre like pineapple juice or ketchup behind my back.

It looks simple. Melt some butter and olive oil together and throw in a bunch of garlic. Saute for a minute and toss in a huge pile of sliced button mushrooms. Cook 'em down for a sec and then add a bunch of broth and let it simmer. It's a really soupy sauce. Pour it into a bowl over some pasta. Grate some cheese on top and slurp it down. Let it settle for a few minutes and go back for seconds. It's that good.

Alright, I'm done. I'd like to hear about your favorites.

And I promise next week's list won't be about food.


ped crossing said...

Marinara, marinara, marinara. And occasionally alfredo. I am as plain jane as they come when it comes to pasta.

Not a single one of those sauces sounded appealing. But I am very picky as you will see when you read my post from today.

Faye said...

Fav pasta recipe--and so fast:

Oriechette(or little ear shaped--you know what I mean) with Broccoli

Cook 2 cups pasta. Nuke about 4 cups broccoli florets. In the meantime, saute 1 T. garlic in a bit of olive oil with good pinch red pepper flakes--your taste as to how much.

Drain pasta and broccoli. Combine with olive oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Sprinkle on too much parmesan cheese and heat through. Yam it up!

I'm going to road test mama's mushroom pasta--sounds delish.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

ped crossing - well, you cannot go wrong with marinara. I'll have to check out your picky list!

faye - your recipe sounds terrific. I'll have to give it a whirl. I have an entire family of broccoli fanatics, so that's right up my alley. And you should definitely try my mom's sauce. You will not be disappointed!

laughing alone in the dark said...

Oh sweet Jesus. Pasta? After I just ate my one meal a week that didn't include pasta? Are you kidding me? I could not love pasta more. Literally. It's an obsession. Ask anyone who has ever gone to a restaurant with me. If there's pasta on the menu, I'm ordering it. And if it's made with goat's cheese? Well... stick a fork in me because because I'm done.

What do I love? Pasta. What do I love more than pasta? Pasta stuffed with pasta, heaped on top of pasta with more pasta.

Here's one for you. There's this fancy restaurant we go to that makes an amazing baked brie Mac and Cheese. Brie I tell you. It's devine. If you're ever in Vancouver I'll take you there.

Thanks for making my mouth water. Damn Pavlov's Dog.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

I'm sure my favourite has a name but I'm not sure what it is!

Melt a knob of butter in a pan and saute some finely sliced courgette until it softens. Add a pot of double cream and gently warm through. Add some some strips of smoked salmon and black pepper. Warm through for a few minutes and pour over pasta and add some Parmesan.


Potty Mummy said...

Well, I can tell you my Boy's favourite Pasta sauce; carbonara. But not your bulk standard creamy sauce version, oh no. This is essentially scrambled eggs (free range, of course!), chopped ham, and parmesan, mixed with linguine. Takes five minutes, and I KNOW they'll eat it. So I guess, in a way, it's my favourite pasta sauce too...

But I must say RC, anything with anchovies in it will do it for me. I have been known to just throw some together with pasta, chopped up with a touch of cheese and some sun-dried/blush tomatoes for a comfort eating feast when Husband is away. Guilty secrets, huh?

Flowerpot said...

The mushroom one looks great. In fact they all look great. Can't compete with any of you great cooks, but Himself makes a good one with bacon, onions, mushrooms and peas.

Lisa said...

Prego. :o)

Diana said...

I'll gladly slurp down a bowl of each of those!

For me, I make a mean red meat sauce with plenty of wine and mushrooms and a good pesto. For my third choice, I'll have to say "all the rest" because I've yet to meet a pasta sauce I didn't love.

Sandy said...

Olive oil, butter, garlic and crumbled bacon. My grandson eats this stuff in copious amounts!

Altaglow said...

On the mushroom pasta, I don't use prepared broth but mix my own from granule or paste base. I use chicken if there are no veggies around or vegetable base if there are. I also think that I make the broth quite a bit stronger than the directions would call for--maybe half again as much. Try that!

Lately I've been making a roasted veggie sauce that is darn good. Put pieces of things like onions, eggplant, zuccini, bell peppers, mushrooms etc. into a roasting pan that already has olive oil and salt on the bottom. Add some whole Roma style tomatoes (trying not to break the skins). Mix the veggies well in the oil and salt. Add a little more oil and sea salt on the top and roast slowly. When done cut up the tomatoes--which will add a nice amount of juice- and add a little broth (my stronger mixture). Serve over a pasta like fetticini with grated parmesan or Romano.

Also, did you forget the grated cheese on the mushroom pasta? It's a must have.

Kimberly said...

I'm all about roasted garlic, basil, sundried tomato, pesto...mmm...I was so born on the wrong continent...

-Ann said...

Ewww, mushrooms. I have a serious mushroom phobia.

Peter makes a fabulous sauce by reducing canned tomatoes and putting in sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and fresh basil.

But I think I have a new favourite, which I cooked yesterday: leek, pepper, and chive sauce. Delicious!

the mother of this lot said...

I know you didn't want another award, but I left you one anyway!

Nearlydawn said...

I'm all about cheating when I cook - so my fav pasta dish right now is Crabcakes with Broccoli Fettuccini Alfredo. Then, the next night I use the leftover pasta to make Parmesan Chicken Broccoli Alfredo. Genius, no?

I've put the recipes on my blog, so that I didn't steal your comment section with all the detials.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Mmmm, the mushroom one catches my eye, being a veggie etc, but they all sound good. And now I am hungry.

my two cents said...

A good bowl of spaghetti is my favorite! I tend to like marinara, or red sauce (also known as gravy where I come from) with meat or meatballs. Generally must be homemade, but in a pinch on a side of pasta with chicken I'll use Ragu. Of course, then the rest of the family complains.

Eileen said...

Ok, now I am hungry. I am cold, have the flu and now I am hungry. I can't cook. No, that is wrong, I hate to cook. Yet, when I read your blog, I want to go in the kitchen and start to simmer and sautee. You have that effect on me. My favorite is Marinara, but I do love the Mushroom one you posted. There is a restaurant near us, called Aunt Josies, that has a wonderful( and very fattening) dish that has pasta, broccoli, mushrooms, butter and garlic. It is so yummy. It was featured in Gourmet Magazine. This little hole in the wall's claim to fame.
At home, we use good old, veggie prego.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Boy, have I gotten a lot of great ideas from all of you. I may have to do a pasta marathon and try them all.

Because, really, how can you go wrong with something so perfect?